Watermark for Kids, a national nonprofit organization committed to helping local kids thrive, recently awarded a musical instrument and 20 private music lessons to Tarboro teen Ty’Sean Phelps.
“Playing the saxophone is very special and important to me,” Phelps said. “I feel that it is a way to keep me out of trouble – I think playing the saxophone has improved my behavior a lot.”
Borrowing a school saxophone that was not always available, Phelps had been playing in his school band for three years when Watermark for Kids rewarded him for his efforts and his continued desire to excel in music. A student at Martin Middle School, Phelps says he wants to go to college and become an electrical engineer.
The teen visited The Fountains at The Albemarle last spring to show his new sax and his appreciation for the award. The Tarboro retirement community raises money for Watermark for Kids through bake sales and other local fundraisers and works with area schools to help identify kids who could use a helping hand.
“We are always delighted when we can help kids like Ty’Sean pursue their dreams,” said Connie Pike, community life director for The Fountains at The Albemarle and local Watermark for Kids liaison.
In a letter received by The Fountains at The Albemarle this week, Ty’Sean’s mother, Quartina Phelps, stated that Ty’Sean is doing very well with the lessons and that he has even started playing along with the other musicians at his church.
“I appreciate this greatly because it lets me know that my son has a chance to go even further in life. In pushing him to strive to do his best, I know that good will come out of him playing the saxophone,” she wrote.
Pike said she is hoping to arrange Ty’Sean’s next visit to The Fountains at The Albemarle in the fall so he can have the opportunity to demonstrate what he has learned to an appreciative audience – one that certainly has reason to feel a shared sense of pride in his accomplishments.
For more information, visit watermarkforkids.org.